Review Two major dance festivals – Drishti and Kinkini – bring to fore many promising dancers
The first segment of the Seventh Drishti Dance Festival, held recently in Bangalore by the Drishti Art Centre, began with a pushpanjali by a group of eight students set to ragamalika and talamalika, paying obeisance to the deities Ganesha, Nataraja, Sharada and Bhudevi. The item, performed with good synchronisation and eye catching formations, was followed by a solo presentation by Anuradha Vikranth titled “Krishnam Vande Jagatgurum”. Based on the Purandaradasa ragamalika “Jaganmohanane Krishna”, the piece featured some attractive choreography expertly executed, and incorporated three episodes extolling the divinity and might of the Lord.
The transformation of the fearsome demon Poothana into a beauteous damsel and her annihilation by the infant Krishna, the sinuous movements of the serpent Kaliya, the devastating effects of the poisonous fumes emanating from him and his ultimate subjugation were conveyed effectively by the artiste.
Bhasmasura's tryst with Lord Vishnu's manifestation as Mohini provided scope for some nritta interludes which progressively gathered momentum and alternated between the feminine charm of the latter and the crude and cumbersome gait of the former. Beautiful lighting and backdrops enhanced the overall impact of the item, which concluded with a brief representation of the Dashavathara and of the shloka beginning “Vasudevasutham”.
Though the theme could have been interpreted with greater intensity, spontaneity and improvisational inputs, it was nevertheless presented succinctly and with proficiency and finesse.
The Festival also included a Kathak recital by Anuj Mishra, and a group ensemble with Seshadri Iyengar (Bharathanatya), Kuchipudi (Shama Krishna), Kathak (Sweekruth), and Madhulita Mohapatra (Odissi).
* * * The ongoing 28th Kinkini Nrithyotsava, a festival of classical dances, spread over seven days and offering a platform for well established as well as up and coming young dancers in a variety of styles including Bharathanatya, Kathak, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Vilasini Natyam, began with a Bharathanatya recital by S. Jyothsna.
A short but unhurried pushpanjali in Natta raga and aditala was succeeded by an exposition of the Meenakshisutha krithi “Rakshamaam”, also in Natta raga and aditala, seeking the protection of Lord Guruvayurappa and interspersed with vibrant madhyamakala sahitya passages that were choreographed with appropriate footwork. The focal point of the performance was a ragamalika varna in aditala, “Ganam Isaithu Nindrayo” portraying the virahothkhanditha nayika, who wonders if Lord Krishna has forgotten her and pleads with him to come to her. The young artiste gave a good account of her training and application with clean and elegant movement and nritta that gained clarity and definition as the item progressed, augmented by subtle lighting. The emotive content was adequately extrapolated, though greater internalisation and involvement would have enhanced the impact.
The concluding tillana set to Ranjini raga and aditala featured sparkling rhythms and was performed with verve and enthusiasm. Excellent orchestral support was provided by the artiste's guru Rajashri Shenoy (nattuvanga), Nandakumar (vocal), Narasimhamurthy (flute) and Chandrasekhar (mridanga). While more experience could lead to a deeper exploration of the complexities of the genre and intensification of abhinaya skills, the performance attested to sound basics, dedication and talent.